This past Friday, I had the pleasure of attending the 8 Chains North post-harvest wine dinner. 8 Chains North is a small, family-owned winery located in Waterford, Virginia that’s a newcomer to the Loudoun County wine trail. 8 Chains North is operated by Ben Renshaw, who serves as grape-grower, winemaker, and owner, and is one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet in the Loudoun County wine industry.
8 Chains North
Ben’s an advocate of the local food and wine movement and this was reflected in the evening’s dinner menu. The menu highlighted seasonal, locally grown and raised foods paired with locally grown wines. One thing of note that I personally found considerate and kind, was that Ben featured several wines that were from his Loudoun friends and colleagues alongside his very own. This is called supporting your local [wine] neighbors, friends.
Enjoying LoCo Vino w/ baked oysters before the dinner event
The five-course meal kicked-off with tasty Virginia baked oysters with fennel and jack cheese jalapeno crab dip hors’dourves paired with the 8 Chains North LoCo Vino (50/50 Traminette and Vidal Blanc) blend and Hiddencrofts’s 2007 Chambourcin. Next up, and a pairing that hit the spot considering the cool and crisp fall evening, was the local Lost Corner Farm roasted winter squash soup. This winter warming dish paired nicely with the refreshing and well-balanced Tarara Winery 2009 Nevaeh White (Viognier and Chardonnay) blend. We were told whilst enjoying this delightful course that the squash and the grapes used in making the blend were grown less than a mile apart. How cool is that! Another enticing course – and we’re just on the appetizer – was the Virginia stuffed (spinach, goat cheese, sage pesto butter) trout paired with the 8 Chains North Sauvignon Blanc. The Sauvignon Blanc is done in a Fume Blanc style, but not as assertive as west coast examples, yet refreshing and round, making it an ideal match for the fish. The main course, a delectable Loudoun raised country lamb dish, was paired with the 8 Chains North 2008 Furnace Mountain Red (Bordeaux-style) blend. The Furnace Mountain Red, a supple and harmonious blend, showcasing all five Bordeaux varieties, offers layers of complex, yet restrained fruit, with hints of spice, vanilla bean, and a touch of mocha. The wine complimented the earthiness and richness of the lamb dish perfectly and based on conversations heard – dinner guests loved it! For the sweet ending, we enjoyed a caramel crème brulée made with local Moutoux Orchard caramelized apples. This tasty sweet treat was paired with the North Gate Vineyard Apple wine. The wine’s refreshing and off-dry character had just the right amount of crispness and sweetness to round out the dessert dish and ready your palate for another bite.
Simply Beautiful Decor ~ My camera does it no justice.
The talented individual behind the glorious meal was Chef Steve Ryder, who was voted 2009 Chef of the Year by the Nation’s Capital Chef’s Association. The Chef’s well-prepared and scrumptious menu items and tasty Virginia wine selections made for an enjoyable evening of great food and wine pairings. This was 8 Chains North first in a series of local food and wine inspired dinners that will feature seasonal foods paired with Virginia wines. In closing, be sure to check 8 Chains North website for future dinner events. Their first was quite a treat and ran so smoothly you would have sworn they were doing this for the hundredth time. I extend a grateful tip of the hat to Ben, the Chef, and all those who made the evening memorable.
Having a Sip with Jordan (Tarara) and Ben
Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at email@example.com, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned friends ...More to come!
INFO: CLICK HERE to join 8 Chains North Facebook group.
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Winery Info: 8 Chains North,38593 Daymont Ln, Waterford, VA 20132
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